Agriculture

Williams Hall Chadwick has over 35 years of experience in providing advice to businesses in the agricultural & agribusiness sectors. The firm was originally established in Longreach (Western Qld), and has always maintained its strong ties with regional areas.

The firm has existing agribusiness clients in regional areas of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the NT. In order to service these clients, our directors regularly visit Toogoolawah, Roma, Longreach, Mt Isa and Cloncurry, Emerald, Mackay and Darwin.

A number of the Directors of Williams Hall Chadwick provide advice into the agricultural & agribusiness sectors.

All have close family connections with regional businesses.

Over the past 35 years, Williams Hall Chadwick has developed the following capabilities:

Taxation

  • Detailed specialist knowledge of industry specific issues including capital write off provisions, income deferral options, farm management deposits and livestock
  • Regular detailed taxation planning process conducted prior to year end to optimise the tax position of a business

Accounting

  •  Provision of accounting services to all types of structures
  •  Detailed knowledge of accounting standards and principles as they relate to livestock (cattle, sheep, pigs) & cropping operations
  •  Experience in agribusiness such as stock & station agents, feedlot operators, fertiliser manufacturers, meat wholesaling, saleyards, agriculture consultants etc
  •  Close understanding of financial software systems specifically developed for agribusinesses including the suites of products offered by Phoenix, Agrimaster, Livestock Exchange and Saleg8

Government Programs

  • Successful preparation & lodgement of applications for funding from:
    •  Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA)
    •  NSW Rural Adjustment Authority (NSWRAA)
    •  Department of Primary Industries (DPI)
  •  During the drought of 2002 to 2009 regular successful applications were made for Exceptional Circumstance Interest Subsidies of $100,000
  •  During the Queensland floods of 2011 successful applications were made for Exceptional Circumstance Low Interest Loans of $500,000 and grants of up to $50,000
  •  Other grants received by clients include QRAA Business Ready Grants and DPI freight and fodder grants
  •  We have been involved in advocacy on behalf of the rural industry and assisted government in policies aimed at improving the sustainability and viability of the agriculture sector

 Property Transactions

  •  Detailed knowledge of rural property issues including title and apportionment advice
  •  We have been closely involved in family and corporate transactions, chiefly in the $2m to $10m range

Banking & Financing

  • Our firm has close relationships with the agribusiness divisions of NAB, CBA, ANZ, Westpac, Rabobank, Suncorp & Bank of Qld
  • Multiple successful applications for agribusiness facilities for a wide variety of transactions including property & business acquisitions, carry on funding and working capital requirements
  • We have extensive experience in assisting clients when issues arise with current financing arrangements and ongoing viability issues including liaising with banks

Insolvency

  • We have provided advice to insolvency specialists in relation to agribusiness matters in the following circumstances
    •  Specialist advice in an Independent Accountants' Report for secured creditors
    •  Specialist advice in relation to ‘trade on’ or asset realisation strategies involving agribusiness assets
    •  Consultancy services in relation to turnaround or enhancement of the performance of agribusiness enterprises

Coal & Gas Compensation

  • We have been closely involved in negotiating with Coal Seam Gas companies with respect to Conduct & Compensation Agreements, Easement Agreements and Option payments in Queensland
  • We have been involved in negotiating with multinational coal companies compensation agreements due to resumption & proximity of coal developments in Queensland
  • We have also been involved in negotiation valuation methodologies with respect to the quantum of compensation
  • Our firm has acted for both Landowners and Coal Seam Gas and Coal Companies
  • We are a recognised panel expert for Queensland Gas Company (a subsidiary of British Gas)
  • We are in close contact with Brisbane based legal experts with respect to the uncertain taxation environment surrounding compensation payments

Litigation support

Williams Hall Chadwick has provided expert reports in relation to agribusiness matters including:

  • A product liability case involving 1,200 applicants in a class action against a chemical manufacturer where an unregistered chemical accumulated in fat tissue and caused an interruption to the export markets for all affected animals. The matter proceeded to trial and was eventually settled
  • A professional negligence matter involving feasibility advice provided by a Chartered Accounting firm to a client in relation to a peanut farming venture in the Northern Territory. The matter proceeded to trial and was subsequently settled
  • A contract dispute related to cattle missing in the purchase of a Walk In Walk Out property deal in the Northern Territory
  • Provision of Expert Evidence in the Land and Resources Tribunal in relation to the Mineral Resources Act and the Petroleum and Gas Act

Due Diligence & Valuation

  • Our consulting division has prepared multiple due diligence reports in respect of acquisitions of agricultural aligned businesses
  • We have also acted as experts in litigation with respect to disputed acquisitions
  • Our firm is a panel expert in respect of the valuation of land and business interruption due to coal seam gas development & pipelines

Business Planning

  • Our firm prepared a number of Farm Business Plans under a (now ceased) Farm Ready program run by the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority
  • We regularly prepare 5 year business models for agribusiness clients. In particular we prepare 5 year integrated herd & financial models allowing clients to understand the financial consequences of changes made to their herd composition or selling program
  • We also regularly prepare 3 way cashflow modelling for business clients
  • For a number of agribusiness clients, Andrew Perkins acts in an outsourced CFO role and sits on the board. For example he has acted in the capacity for a number of years for a developing organic fertilizer manufacturer and a national supplier of fresh vegetables to the supermarket chains and the fresh food markets

Estate & Succession Planning

  • Due to the firms long association with rural clients, we have been involved in the succession planning of a large number of clients as their business and assets are passed from one generation to the next
  • A number of our Directors have been personally involved in this process within their own family environment
  • Our firm has both the financial and interpersonal skills to assist clients with this transition
  • We also have close, long term relationships with legal experts working in this field
  • A recent successful Estate plan involved the reorganisation of a family business worth in excess of $50m, and included multiple families across 3 generations and multiple properties and business structures

Corporate

  • While the majority of our clients are family based businesses, we also represent corporate owned agribusinesses
  • We offer a full range of audit, specialised tax advice and corporate advice to corporate clients
  • We are able to offer services to inbound foreign investment
  • As an example we currently act for an agribusiness that recently sold a stake in their business to one of the world’s largest US listed agribusiness multinationals. We continue to provide audit, business & tax services to this client

Superannuation & Business Structuring

  • Our financial planning arm, headed by Toby Winten, specialises in representing Agribusiness clients
  • In particular, they have expertise in the use of Self- Managed Superannuation Funds to own farm and commercial land
  • Recent transactions include the use of Instalment Contracts to transfer the ownership of land to Self-Managed Superannuation Funds
  • Toby also represents a number of large rural families, and sits on the board of regional based agribusinesses

Clients

  • While we work across a range of clients, as an indication we have worked with businesses in the following range: 
    • Sheep & Wool                                        in excess of 50,000 head,
    • Cattle                                                       in excess of 175,000 head
    • Wheat/Grain                                           in excess of 20,000 acres
    • Cotton                                                      in excess of 12,000 acres (irrigated)

Director Contacts

John Sloman
Dugald Warby
Michael Williams
Brendan Vaughan

 


Level 19, 144 Edward Street, Brisbane Qld 4000   |   (07) 3221 2416
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